You Drink & Drive. You Lose.

December 20, 2003

Los Angeles: From December 19, 2003 through January 4, 2004, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) will be participating in the national “You Drink & Drive. You Lose” (YDD. YL) Campaign. The campaign is an educational and enforcement effort aimed to reduce driving-under-the-influence (DUI) traffic collisions.

In addition to routine DUI patrols, supplemental DUI saturation patrols and checkpoints will be conducted throughout the City of Los Angeles. Funding for the supplemental activities are provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

During the last three years, the City of Los Angeles has experienced a reduction in DUI-related traffic collisions. However, during the same time, the City had well over 7, 500 DUI-related traffic collisions resulting in over 100 fatalities. Driving-under-the-influence continues to be a problem within the City and is a priority within the LAPD.

After years of gradual improvement, fatalities in alcohol-related traffic collisions are on the rise nationally. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in 2000, 17,380 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic collisions, representing approximately 41 percent of the 41,945 total traffic fatalities. In 2001, 17,448 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic collisions, again representing 41 percent of the 42,116 people killed in all traffic collisions.

The LAPD reminds everyone if you find it hard to figure out if you have had too many drinks to drive, do not risk it. Impairment begins with the first drink and impaired driving is against the law. Most likely if you are feeling “a buzz” you are impaired and if you drive, law enforcement will likely catch you.

Studies from the NHTSA show that the majority of Americans consider drunk driving one of the nation’s most important social issues, ahead of healthcare, poverty/hunger, racism and education. Nearly 97 percent of Americans view drunk driving as a major threat to the community. As a result, the majority of Americans support increased use of enforcement efforts like saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints to protect innocent victims.

Furthermore, two-thirds of Americans also strongly endorse the use of stricter and more severe penalties against drunk drivers. Nine out of 10 Americans who participate in social events where alcohol is served feel that people should use designated drivers. The LAPD suggests that party hosts include alcohol-free beverages and protein-rich foods, along with reminding guest to plan ahead.

The LAPD reminds everyone:

Don’t risk it – If you plan to drive, don’t drink.
Choose a sober designated driver before partying.
Take mass transit, taxicab or ask a friend to drive you home if you did not plan in advance.
Spend the night where the activity is being held.
Report impaired drivers to law enforcement.

The YDD. YL National Mobilization, launched in December 1999, is a comprehensive impaired driving prevention effort focused on highly visible criminal justice related efforts to deter impaired driving and is designed for use by States and communities to save lives. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of thousands of devoted public and private partners, more than 150 million Americans have been reached through newspapers, the Internet, and from radio and television broadcasts. For more information about the campaign, visit NHTSA ’s web site at

For question regarding this campaign, please contact Donald Inman, Traffic Coordination Section, at 213-473-7815.

This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Lucy Diaz, Media Relations Section, at 213-485-3586.